The American Heart Association and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) have created a national registry to track study COVID-19 and cardiovascular disease in NCAA athletes.

The newly launched Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes (ORCCA) has already collected data from more than 3,000 athletes. It aims to aid research to gain new insights into the impact of COVID-19 to the cardiovascular system of college athletes and safety of return to play after diagnosis.

The American Heart Association will use its Precision Medicine Platform (PMP), a secure cloud-computing platform hosted by the Association’s Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine to facilitate the research, according to a news release from the American Heart Association.

“There have been many high-profile cases of athletes at the collegiate and professional levels showing myocarditis, a dangerous inflammation of the heart, after COVID-19. Research and data are key to answering the ongoing debate in college sports about the safety of return to play and guidelines on the appropriate assessment of the athletes.”

— Mariell Jessup, MD, FAHA, cardiologist and chief science and medical officer for the American Heart Association

Research Team

The research team is led by three primary investigators:

  • Jonathan Drezner, MD, Department of Family Medicine, Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Kimberly Harmon, MD, Department of Family Medicine, Center for Sports Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Aaron Baggish, MD, Cardiovascular Performance Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

“Many college athletes are students of color, coming from communities with higher risk factors for COVID-19 complications. This registry is an exciting and important starting point for the long-term investigation of cardiac outcomes in a diverse group of athletes diagnosed with COVID-19 and other heart conditions which present a potential health risk.”

— Stephanie Kliethermes, PhD, research director of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the AMSSM Collaborative Research Network

The collaborative data registry will aid research on COVID-19, and, long-term, develop a deep knowledge base on cardiac disease in athletes beyond the pandemic. The registry has been developed with participation from the NCAA and has more than 60 schools currently contributing to the registry, per the release.

[Source(s): American Heart Association, Business Wire]

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